On 2nd of July and 16th August each year the Palio race is held at Piazza Il Campo between the 10 of the 17 contrada of the city. The event is so much more than the race with events in the days leading up to the race and a historical pageant featuring all 17 contrada. I planned to attend the event on 16th August and duly arrived in Siena early in the morning and after taking time to familiarise myself (again) with the Piazza settled on the best spot for me. After several hours waiting with many others the organisers let everyone know by hoisting a green flag to announce that the race would be postponed.
The race was last postponed in 1980 some 35 years ago. So I resolved to return the following day and take up the same spot. However, I arrived at 10 am and found that the spot I wanted was already occupied (the race starts around 19:30!). I chose another spot and set in for the day, after a nine hour wait I was rewarded with the race itself an experience not to be missed.
The following set of images are taken from both days I hope that you enjoy them as much I enjoyed the day!
I was fortunate enough to photograph a wedding in the stunning Cotswolds recently. All of the venues were simply incredible especially the church. Here are a few of the selected photographs from the day I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did making them.
We recently visited the amazing Harry Potter Studio Tour, so I thought I would post a selection of the images from the trip. If you are thinking of visiting the attraction you should it is very well done and a great family experience, especially if you are fans of the films. I haven’t had much chance to get out with my Fujifilm X-E2 lately as I have been very busy with my sports work but this provided a great opportunity to get out with the camera and capture some fun images. As always the camera performed flawlessly and reminded me how much fun it is to use for this kind of photography.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we did when we were there.
A little while back I got to go to a Cardiff Devils game, as foster carers we had the option of going to a Christmas pantomime or the Ice Hockey. We choose the Ice Hockey and what a great experience we had, the kids absolutely loved it and I got a chance to take a few photos.
I didn’t get a press pass for this game as they had already allocated them out, but I got to shoot a few pictures from the side of the ice. The team at Cardiff Devils went out of their way to accommodate us and couldn’t have been nicer. The kids got to meet some of the players after the game and got pictures and autographs with them.
We loved it so much that we are going back next week and with any luck I’ll be able to get a pass for that game and get some more action. Here are a few images from the game, which the Devils won 4-1.
In my last post I gave my first impressions on the Canon 7D Mark II once I had used the camera in a real world situation. In that post I covered how the camera handled at a professional rugby match. The only real disappointment I had was that the lights at the stadium were very good and meant that I didn’t need to push the ISO beyond 1600 to get the shutter speed and aperture needed to isolate and freeze the action. As a commissioned match I didn’t want to experiment too much as it was key to capture the required images. This weekend I didn’t have a commission so looked for a game to attend that would test the ISO capabilities more. I received accreditation for a game at Sandy Park featuring local rivals Exeter and Bath in the LV Cup.
I recently took delivery of Canon’s new 7D Mark II APS-C camera, I got to take the camera out with me to a Professional Rugby Match on Friday 31st October. As the 7D Mark II is designed as a sports and action camera this was an ideal opportunity to put it through it’s paces. This isn’t a technical pixel peeping review of the camera more first a impressions feel for how it performed.
As a freelance photographer I have to buy my own equipment, I currently shoot with two Canon 5D Mark III’s but for sport I really need something with a higher frame rate and deeper buffer. I was giving serious consideration to the 1DX but that is a significant investment so when the rumours of a 7D Mark II starting getting stronger I held off until I was certain that the camera was a reality. Canon announced the 7D Mark II on 15th September and I pre-ordered one as soon as they were listed on the WEX Photographic website. The specifications of the camera looked exactly what; I needed AF on a par or better than the 5D3; 10 frames per second with a huge buffer and the added benefit of a 1.6 crop factor. I owned the original 7D and in fairness it is a great camera but the image quality suffered a lot when the ISO was raised beyond around 1250, in my experience. So the one thing that concerned me about the 7D Mark II was if the image quality would be good enough for my purposes.
A selection of images from a recent wedding in Oxfordshire. The weather was very changeable as we were bathed in sunshine one minute and running from the rain the next. However, the weather didn’t dampen the spirits and everyone had a wonderful day.
As a family we normally go to Italy for our summer break, our favourite and normal destination is the beautiful Lake Garda. This year for a change we decided to take in Tuscany and found an amazing 14th Century Tower in the quiet village of Montecatini Val di Cecina. The owner of the tower Luca was very helpful and friendly, I would recommend anyone to stay there it was a real treat. Apart from the incredible scenery in Italy the other reason we love to visit is the fact that the people there are so incredibly friendly and welcoming, they’re pretty laid back too. We have decided that we will live there one day when the kids have grown up and are no longer dependant upon us (just don’t tell them).
Whilst we were in Tuscany we took in Volterra, Siena, Florence and Pisa. I have posted some photographs before of the places that we have visited but I wanted to combine the whole trip in to one post to also include some photographs that were not in the original posts, for example the landscapes. Sadly for us the trip to Pisa was during a very wet day and whilst we did go up the tower and around the cathedral it didn’t make for good photographs. However, we have already decided to return to Tuscany next year for our break so will go back hopefully when the weather is more conducive to photography.
Normally I take my Canon DSLRs on holiday and a selection of lenses, but of late I have been working with the FujiFilm X system cameras and decided to take only my X-E2 and three lenses, the 10-24mm F4, 35mm F1.4 and the 56mm F1.2. I very much enjoy using this system, it really feels to me like a camera with soul and is so simple to use. For the kind of photography displayed here the camera is more than capable of creating amazing pictures and will be using the system more and more. Also I find that when taking street portraits or candid photographs the size and appearance of the X-E2 is less obtrusive than a big DSLR and makes me far less conspicuous.
So here is a set of my favourite photographs from our trip, they include some pictures of the incredible scenery that we saw nearby and indeed from the tower itself. Please fell free to view and share the link and if so inclined leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
On 26th July 2014 I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Gavin and Ceri Whitelock at the Trinity Congregational Church in Pontywaun. The weather was unbelievably kind with sunshine right from the start, although being British you could say it may have been a little too warm. The reception took place at the Old Barn in Langstone., everyone had a wonderful day and I wish Gavin and Ceri all the best for their future together.
Here are a selected few photographs from the day, if you wish to leave Gavin and Ceri a message please do so at the bottom of the page.
Today we spent the day in Florence (Firenze) we got there early so that we could get around the Ufizzi gallery before the rush. After that we spent the day around the Duomo hence it’s predominance in the pictures. Jude and I went up the Campanile and the Duomo around 1738 steps up and down to reach the top of both of those.
All taken with the FufjiFilm X-E2 again showing how versatile the camera is with the right lenses.
A day doesn’t do justice to this beautiful city so hopefully we will get back there soon.